the added value landscape
Signage is an act of enclosure. It claims the landscape for state, local authority & commercial bodies, redefining it as a set of basic decisions & choices granted to the user. This is all very well in the mall, or the Queen’s back garden, which are so evidently not commons. But signage is now used to add value & “identity” to entire landscapes, the relaunching of which becomes an act of enclosure by commodification, of a space which, if it wasn’t entirely real in the first place, was at least defined by local quotidian human usage. Anyone who, in the 1980s, watched Holmfirth in Yorkshire being taken gently away from its inhabitants & then returned, postmodernised, as the non-place “Last of the Summer Wine Land”, so that much of their livelihood would now come from selling a fiction of their home (& thus of themselves), understands what an unheimlich process that is.